Suggestions and Complaints
Our complaints procedure is as follows:
- You may make a complaint in person or in writing to any member of staff or to the Practice Manager or Duty Manager. The Practice Manager or Patient Services Manager handles and co-ordinates all complaints in conjunction with the Partners. We have a Clinical Complaints Lead who receives all complaints and assists with investigation of all clinically related complaints. If the complaint is made in person the opportunity of discussing the matter with the Practice Manager at that time is offered. If this is not possible an alternative time/date is offered or the opportunity to discuss the matter with another member of staff ( where appropriate ). Complaints can be made in person, in writing or by email using our secure online form. This email address is monitored by the Practice Manager and deputy practice manager and ensures that any email correspondence can be dealt with within the NHS directive timescale.
- Following this the details may be entered into what is known as the Significant Event Analysis log until such time as the details can be investigated properly. A Significant Event is an event whereby we can change/improve things as a result and/or involves a training issue. If the complaint is not a Significant Event then a Complaint File is opened. Not every complaint is a Significant Event, however the procedure described here is applicable for dealing with either a complaint or a significant event. We are committed to taking on board feedback from complaints and use this procedure to shape how we communicate things that have happened and how we can improve as a result.
- Where possible the practice manager within 3 working days of receipt of your complaint will make contact with you to advise you that we are investigating the matter and if appropriate we can offer a meeting to discuss your concerns. This is then followed up with a further letter with full details of the investigation of the problem and what action has been taken or will be taken as a result.
- It may be that on first notification of a complaint, a telephone call is appropriate to discuss the matter and clarify the details – if this is the case the relevant doctor/partner or Practice/DutyManager will attempt to make contact by telephone. If this is not relevant or possible then a letter or email will be sent out.
- Where appropriate we also offer the involvement of additional services which can help such as: The Kent Local Medical Committee, 8, Roebuck Business Park, Harrietsham, Kent ME17 1AB. Tel: 01622 851197; Fax 01622 851198 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- There is also the NHS Commissioning Board Helpline where you can direct your complaint if you do not wish to discuss it with us first. They are on 03003112233 or email at email@example.com or in writing to NHS Commissioning Board, PO Box 16738, Redditch BG7 9PT.
- All our complaints and/or significant events are taken to the next partners meeting where they are discussed with all the partners, minuted, actioned and a review date set. They may also be discussed at the next most relevant meeting i.e a staff meeting or a clinical meeting where the relevant details are shared with all of the appropriate members of staff. Any actions agreed are put into place and the review conducted if it has been deemed necessary.
Following investigation and the meetings ( including the meeting between us and the complainant ) we will write to you to confirm what action has been taken and what was discussed and agreed.
The Health Service Ombudsman
The Health Service Ombudsman has published a booklet that describes the ‘six principles for remedy’ in relation to complaints handling and involves:
- Getting it right
- Being customer focused
- Being open and accountable
- Acting fairly and proportionately
- Putting things right
- Seeking continuous improvements
If you remain unhappy after everything has been done to try to resolve your concern or complaint you have the right to approach the Ombudsman.
- Tel: 0345 015 4033
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write: Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP
However, before considering taking this step, we hope you would let us know what aspect of the complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily and provide an opportunity for us to consider whether there is anything further that could be done locally to resolve matters
- If you are making a complaint on behalf of another person it may be that we need to obtain their consent before investigating the complaint.
- On an annual basis a Complaints Return is completed for the Department of Health which collects data regarding the number of and nature of complaints made throughout the year (none of the detail or patient data is collected ).